Introducing Shelly Madruga: The Skillful Artisan

Introducing Shelly Madruga: The Skillful Artisan
Introducing Shelly Madruga: The Skillful Artisan

Shelly Madruga: A Journey of Color and Inspiration

Shelly Madruga, a former graphic designer at a renowned advertising agency, has always been captivated by the world of color. Her years of experience as a designer have accompanied her in her transition to becoming a painter, where she skillfully applies her knowledge of color theory to create harmonious and stunning artwork. In recent years, her talent has been recognized and featured by renowned establishments such as Shoppe Amber Interiors and Anthropologie. Additionally, she had the opportunity to be an artist in-residency at Chateau Orquevaux in rural France. Join us as we delve into a conversation with Shelly Madruga and learn more about her incredible journey.

Shelly’s journey to becoming a painter has been a non-linear one, filled with twists and turns that ultimately led her to her true calling. Although she only took one painting class in college, she had always been enthralled by shape and color, which led her to pursue a degree in Fine Art. After spending several years working as a graphic designer in the advertising industry and starting a family, Shelly turned to painting as a creative outlet that had always beckoned her. Drawing inspiration from her experiences in graphic design and interior design, she found herself drawn to the captivating world of color theory in all its forms. Owning a consignment store further fueled her passion for creating and redesigning spaces daily, allowing her to assign stories to antique heirlooms, furniture, and paintings. With the grace to grow as an artist and creator, Shelly has finally found herself expressing her artistic voice in her home studio.

When it comes to daily inspiration, Shelly finds herself fascinated by antiques and objects with a rich history that ignites her imagination. Her home is adorned with intriguing pieces such as pre-Civil War shoes, a brass obelisk, and a vintage oil painting by an unknown artist. These items provoke thought and introspection, eliciting creative ideas that find their way into Shelly’s artwork. Additionally, elements like powerful lyrics, resonating musical notes, and the enduring effect of a well-crafted sentence also inspire her on a daily basis. Furthermore, her participation in Chateau Orquevaux’s artist residency in France left an indelible mark on her artistic soul. The rolling hills and lush landscapes of rural France sparked her sense of wonder and possibility, offering her an empty studio at the estate where she could create boundlessly. The experience was so transformative that Shelly eagerly anticipates her return to France this April.

What sets Shelly’s work apart is her keen eye for balance, tone, and color. She skillfully blends hues to create her own unique shades, never using color straight out of a tube. This deliberate mixing of palettes gives her paintings a dreamlike and ethereal quality, as if they exist as memories on canvas. Shelly strives to create dynamic compositions with brushstrokes that are simultaneously soothing to the viewer’s eye and thought-provoking, inviting them to ponder their own questions.

In a glimpse into Shelly’s day-in-the-work-life, we find her studio nestled in the top corner of her house, offering stunning views of San Diego’s harbor and cityscape. Before diving into her artistic pursuits, she engages in cleaning and organizing, finding solace in the orderliness of her surroundings. Prior to painting, Shelly spends time thinking, observing, and contemplating. She imagines the intricate layers of color on canvas, envisioning the architecture of her work as a puzzle waiting to be solved. Once she enters her studio, there is no room for thoughts; it is a serene moment of presentness and sheer creativity. To set the tone, Shelly often plays the same music in her studio, featuring artists like Elvis Costello, Everything but the Girl, The War on Drugs, and Lloyd Cole.

Reflecting on the best advice she has received as an artist, Shelly recounts being told that she is an “aggressive painter,” evident in her bold brushstrokes. She cherishes her worn paintbrushes with angled broken-down bristles, as they are a testament to her unique style and approach. Encouraged to embrace her aggressive style, Shelly has learned the importance of staying true to oneself and leaning into what makes her art distinct and special.

In a rapid-fire round, Shelly reveals her favorite place to visit for inspiration – France. The captivating scenery and landscapes of rural France have a profound impact on her creative spirit. When it comes to her favorite color palette, Shelly favors neutral tones, finding that the best colors often emerge as unique hues mixed throughout the day. An item Shelly can always be found carrying in her bag is Saje’s peppermint halo essential oil roller, providing a refreshing burst of energy whenever necessary. In her home, her favorite space is her dining table, where she enjoys the company of loved ones gathered around it. Among her paintings, Shelly holds a special attachment to Alma, a portrait that holds sentimental value for her.

To explore Shelly Madruga’s art and delve further into her remarkable journey and creative process, visit her website. There, you will discover a world of color, emotion, and artistic expression that will undoubtedly captivate and inspire. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to appreciate the work of this truly exceptional artist.